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• US and China Meet to Resolve Textile Dispute
• China and Russia Launch a Week of Joint-Military Exercises
• New Kuomintang Chief Sworn In

US and China Meet to Resolve Textile Dispute

8-18: The United States and China have spent the past week in talks to resolve a textile dispute that has lasted since late spring. In San Francisco on Thursday, both sides announced that while major differences were obvious, much progress had occurred.

Sun Jiwen, deputy director-general of the Commerce Ministry's Foreign Trade Department, headed negotiations at the San Francisco talks. He verified that the US and China disagreed on specific points, but asserted that they would continue to meet to resolve those incongruities. David Spooner, the chief US textile trade negotiator, stated, "Both sides are eager to solve this problem but both sides also say they would rather take a little longer to get a good deal rather than easily reach a bad deal.”

Spooner’s words were made more potent by recent hang-ups in the EU-China textile deal made in June. Many countries have already exceeded their quotas for Chinese textile imports, causing merchandise companies to cancel their orders. Germany has stepped forward demanding a loosening of the quotas, given that several sectors of the economy are at risk of lay-offs due to the quotas.

China and Russia Launch a Week of Joint-Military Exercises

8-19: Moscow and Beijing have launched the first round of war games in Shandong province. The display of military might is aimed at deepening the relationship between the two nations, while also attesting to their previous pronouncements of a “new world order,” in opposition to US hegemony around the world.

The war games have also raised eyebrows in Taiwan. Beijing originally argued that the exercises should occur in the Taiwan Straight; however, Russia firmly opposed this proposal and instead, the exercises are taking place in Shandong in China’s Northeast. Many believe that these exercises are intended to demonstrate to the US that interference in any incursion in Taiwan would be folly.

While the war games are occurring in the name of anti-terrorism, the presence of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as recent talks between Russia and China on oil and trade indicate that the joint-military exercises may have more than one purpose.

New Kuomintang Chief Sworn In

08-19: Ma Ying-jeou was sworn in as the new chairman of the Kuomintang party. Ma is also the mayor of Taiwan’s capitol, Taipei. Ma promised that party reforms would continue and stated that he would make every effort for the party to win back the presidency of Taiwan in 2008.

Ma’s predecessor, Lien Chan, encouraged Ma to carry on with party reforms he started to oust the pro-independence DPP in the next presidential elections. Ma pledged to continue the KMT’s policy of promoting ties with mainland China, and uniting opposition parties under the so-called Pan Blue Alliance.

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